(June 10) – Gov. John Hickenlooper signed two bills by Rep. Joann Ginal this morning, one to help veterinarians more effectively treat their animal patients, and the other to help ensure that individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities can find meaningful employment.
The first bill signed this morning, SB16-077, outlines Employment First policies which are designed to increase community-based, integrated employment opportunities for individuals with significant disabilities. Currently, upwards of 80 percent of this community is unemployed, and when employed, it is often in “work shop” settings where they are segregated and do not work alongside workers without disabilities. Furthermore, most of these workers are paid far below minimum wage.

“This bill hinges around the assumption that all people with disabilities are capable of meaningful work,” said Rep. Ginal. “This law creates a framework to help reduce the number of individuals with disabilities who cannot find work because of the barriers standing in their way. This will help ensure that meaningful, dignified employment is possible for all, regardless of disability.”

The second bill signed into law, HB16-1324, will help veterinarians more efficiently and effectively serve their patients. Currently, a veterinarian cannot legally maintain an office stock of compounded drugs, which are drugs tailored to the patient’s needs. Especially in emergency situations when a pet is injured on a holiday or very late at night, this prohibition can prevent a veterinarian from obtaining these lifesaving drugs from a compounding pharmacy. This bill allows a veterinarian to stock up to five days’ worth of compounded drugs for treatment during these kinds of emergency situations.

“The situation this bill aims to address is one that is all-too familiar: a beloved pet is injured or becomes sick and requires compounded pharmaceuticals, only to find that the nearest pharmacy is closed,” Rep. Ginal said. “In these situations, the animal-patient’s health, and often its life, is in jeopardy due to the delay in acquiring the necessary drugs. This law solves this problem by allowing veterinarians to retain a stock of compounded drugs in anticipation of just such an emergency situation.”

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